Treaty of Turkmenchay

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Treaty of Turkmenchay
Treaty of Peace between the Imperial Russia and Persian Empire
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Northwestern Persia's borders before and after the treaty
Effective 21 February 1828
Signing ceremony
"Treaty of Turkmanchay" memorial medal. Museum of History of Azerbaijan in Baku

The Treaty of Turkmenchay (Russian: Туркманчайский договор, Persian: عهدنامه ترکمنچای‎) was an agreement between Persia (modern day Iran) and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was signed on 10 February 1828 in Torkamanchay, Iran. By the treaty, Persia ceded to Russia control of several areas in the South Caucasus: the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Khanate. The boundary between Russian and Persia was set at the Aras River. These territories comprise modern-day Armenia, the southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan, as well as Iğdır Province (nowadays part of Turkey).

The treaty was signed for Persia by Crown Prince Abbas Mirza and Allah-Yar Khan Asaf al-Daula, chancellor to Shah Fath Ali (of the Qajar Dynasty), and for Russia by General Ivan Paskievich. Like the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan, this treaty was imposed by Russia, following military victory over Persia. Paskievich threatened to occupy Tehran in five days unless the treaty was signed.[1]

By this final treaty of 1828 and the 1813 Gulistan treaty, Russia had finalised conquering all Caucasian territories from Iran, comprising modern-day Dagestan, eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, which had formed part of its concept for three centuries.[2] The area to the North of the river Aras, amongst which the territory of the contemporary nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Terms of the treaty[edit]

Treaty of Turkmenchay Cannon in Military museum of Tehran

By this treaty:

  1. Article 4: Persia renounced all claims over the Erivan Khanate (most of present-day central Armenia), the Nakhchivan Khanate (most of the present-day Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan), the Talysh Khanate (southeastern Azerbaijan), and the Ordubad and Mughan regions (now also part of Azerbaijan), and also reiterated the cessions made to Russia in the Treaty of Gulistan.
  2. Article 6: Persia promised to pay Russia 10 korur in gold or 20 million silver rubles (in 1828 currency).
  3. Article 7: Russia promised to support Abbas Mirza as the heir to the throne of Persia on the death of Shah Fath Ali. (This clause became moot when Abbas Mirza predeceased Shah Fath Ali.)
  4. Article 8: Persian ships lost full rights to navigate all of the Caspian Sea and its coasts, henceforth given to Russia.
  5. Persia recognized capitulation rights for Russian subjects in Persia.
  6. Article 10: Russia gained the right to send consular envoys anywhere in Persia.
  7. Article 10: Persia must accept commercial treaties with Russia as Russia specified.
  8. Article 13: Prisoners of war were exchanged.
  9. Persia officially apologized for breaking its promises made in the Gulistan Treaty.
  10. Article 15: Shah Fath Ali Shah promised not to charge or persecute any inhabitant or official in the region of Iranian Azerbaijan for any deed carried out during the war or during the temporary control of the region by Russian troops. In addition, all inhabitants of the aforementioned district were given the right to move from Persian districts to Russian districts if they wished to do so within one year.

The treaty also stipulated the resettlement of Armenians from Azarbaijan to the Caucasus, which also included an outright liberation of Armenians taken captive by Persia since 1804 or 1795.[9][10] This resettlement replaced the 20,000 Armenians who moved to Georgia between 1795 to 1827.[11]

Aftermath[edit]

According to Prof. Svante Cornell:

According to the Cambridge History of Iran:

The area to the North of the river Aras, amongst which the territory of the contemporary nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.[3][14][15][16][17][18]

In combination with the 1813 Gulistan treaty, the two resulting Iranian territorial cessions formed the direct reason for the decisive partition of the Azerbaijani people and Talysh people between nowadays Iran and Azerbaijan.[19]

Massacre at the Russian Embassy[edit]

In the aftermath of the war and signing of the treaty, anti-Russian sentiment in Persia was rampant. On 11 February 1829, an angry mob stormed the Russian embassy in Tehran and slaughtered almost everyone inside. Among those killed in the massacre was the newly appointed ambassador to Persia, Aleksander Griboyedov, a celebrated Russian playwright. Griboyedov had previously played an active role in negotiating the terms of the treaty.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zirisnky, M. “Reza Shah’s abrogation of capitulation, 1927-1928” in The Making of Modern Iran: State and Society Under Riza Shah 1921-1941. Stephanie Cronin (ed.) London: Routledge, 2003, p. 81: “The context of this regime capitulations, of course, is that by the end of the reign of Fath Ali Shah (1798-1834), Iran could no longer defend its independence against the west... For Iran this was a time of weakness, humiliation and soul-searching as Iranians sought to assert their dignity against overwhelming pressure from the expansionist west."
  2. ^ Fisher et al. 1991, p. 329.
  3. ^ a b Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1995). Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. Columbia University Press. pp. 69, 133. ISBN 978-0-231-07068-3. 
  4. ^ L. Batalden, Sandra (1997). The newly independent states of Eurasia: handbook of former Soviet republics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-89774-940-4. 
  5. ^ E. Ebel, Robert, Menon, Rajan (2000). Energy and conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7425-0063-1. 
  6. ^ Andreeva, Elena (2010). Russia and Iran in the great game: travelogues and orientalism (reprint ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-415-78153-4. 
  7. ^ Çiçek, Kemal, Kuran, Ercüment (2000). The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation. University of Michigan. ISBN 978-975-6782-18-7. 
  8. ^ Ernest Meyer, Karl, Blair Brysac, Shareen (2006). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-465-04576-1. 
  9. ^ "Griboedov not only extended protection to those Caucasian captives who sought to go home but actively promoted the return of even those who did not volunteer. Large numbers of Georgian and Armenian captives had lived in Iran since 1804 or as far back as 1795." Fisher, William Bayne;Avery, Peter; Gershevitch, Ilya; Hambly, Gavin; Melville, Charles. The Cambridge History of Iran Cambridge University Press, 1991. p. 339.
  10. ^ (Russian) A. S. Griboyedov. "Записка о переселеніи армянъ изъ Персіи въ наши области", Фундаментальная Электронная Библиотека
  11. ^ Bournoutian, George. "The Politics of Demography: Misuse of Sources on the Armenian Population of Mountainous Karabakh." Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, (1996, 1997 [1999]), p. 103.
  12. ^ Svante Cornell. Small nations and great powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus. Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001, p. 37.
  13. ^ Gavin R.G. Hambly, in The Cambridge History of Iran, ed. William Bayne Fisher (Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 145-146
  14. ^ L. Batalden, Sandra (1997). The newly independent states of Eurasia: handbook of former Soviet republics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-89774-940-4. 
  15. ^ E. Ebel, Robert, Menon, Rajan (2000). Energy and conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7425-0063-1. 
  16. ^ Andreeva, Elena (2010). Russia and Iran in the great game: travelogues and orientalism (reprint ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-415-78153-4. 
  17. ^ Çiçek, Kemal, Kuran, Ercüment (2000). The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation. University of Michigan. ISBN 978-975-6782-18-7. 
  18. ^ Ernest Meyer, Karl, Blair Brysac, Shareen (2006). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-465-04576-1. 
  19. ^ Swietochowski, Tadeusz. Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2003 Taylor and Francis, 2003. ISBN 1857431375 p 104
  20. ^ See Hopkirk, Peter. The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia. New York: Kodansha Globe, 1997, ISBN 1-56836-022-3

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